How To Install IO Shield? [Step-by-Step]

The IO shield in a computer has its unique advantage, but it is less prioritized when compared to the other components in a computer.

Here on this page, you’ll find the IO shield’s meaning, uses, and installation guide, and at the end, I’ll conclude with the necessity of an IO shield on your PC. So that you can understand whether it is a compulsory or optional element.

First, you need to know the meaning of an IO shield.

What is an IO shield?

The Input/Output (IO) shield is a thin steel piece that we use to protect the motherboard from dust. The primary purpose of an IO shield is to cover the unwanted area at the rear side of the CPU cabinet and give place to the required areas or ports of the motherboard.

You can see the picture of an IO shield here.

IO Shield

It is the IO shield of the Zebronics H55 motherboard. You can see the space available on the shield is for various ports on the motherboard. These ports will define whether the IO shield is compatible with the motherboard or not. It is ok to remove the unwanted pins on the shield that can cause trouble to your motherboard ports.

However, the IO shields are not the same for every computer. The structure of an IO shield is based on the design of its compatible motherboard.

Uses of IO shield :

The IO shield is lightweight compared to all other components. Before going to know its importance in a computer, we need to know the uses of an IO shield.

  • The primary use of an IO shield is to protect the PC from the dust
  • Protect from discharge currents
  • It makes good contact between the connectors
  • Helps to optimize the PC airflow
  • It controls the excess pressure while plugging a cable into the motherboard

Dust and temperature are the two things that a computer wouldn’t bear. So, we need to control the dust entering our computers. The shield helps in this aspect.

Coming to temperature control, PC airflow optimization is useful.

Is it necessary to attach the IO shield to the Motherboard?

We need an IO shield to protect our PC components like the motherboard, processor, GPU, etc from dust. The hardware components may get damaged because of heavy dust. If your PC location is not clean, I highly recommend placing an IO shield on your CPU case.

If you have a clean environment with Air Conditioners in your room, then the IO shield is not compulsory. And nothing would happen without a shield in a CPU. But you may or may not have a clean workplace. So, it’s better to place it.

Check for IO shield, motherboard, and CPU cabinet compatibility:

However, let’s see installing an IO shield on a computer. Along with the steps, I provide the pics so that you can understand the process clearly.

First, you should check the compatibility of an IO shield, motherboard, and CPU cabinet. If all these 3 components are compatible, then you can go to the installation process.

How to check the compatibility of the IO shield, motherboard, and CPU case?

To check the compatibility, place the IO shield on the rear side of the motherboard (ports side). If all the motherboard ports are clearly visible after you place the shield on it, then we can say that shield is compatible with the motherboard.

If you have already installed the board on the case, then the board and the case are compatible elements. 

Just place the motherboard on the CPU, if you find the screws placed exactly the same for the motherboard and the case, then we say they are compatible. The other way to check the compatibility is by finding the motherboard model and the chipset.

io shield and motherboard
Motherboard and its IO shield

Useful Read: How to find the motherboard model of your computer?

How to install an IO shield? [step-by-step]

Installation of an IO shield is quite easy. In the process of building a PC, you can install the IO shield with the motherboard. It is completely an inside component of the CPU case.

motherboard and io shield compatibility check
Motherboard and IO shield compatibility check
  1. Remove the motherboard from the case if you have already screwed up the board.
  2. Take the IO on the left-hand and the motherboard on the right-hand
  3. Place the shield on the ports of the motherboard properly
  4. Now move the motherboard (with shield) into the CPU. Be careful to find the screws with no physical damage to the board.
  5. Adjust the board and the shield to find the screw holes.
  6. Turn the screws with a screwdriver to install the motherboard inside the CPU.
  7. Look at the rear side of the CPU and observe the motherboard ports. If you find the ports clearly and are sure that they won’t give any trouble while using them, then you did the right thing.
Fitting screws on the board
Fit screws on the board

That’s it. You installed the motherboard and the IO shield with it as well.

Sometimes, the motherboards are not coming with an IO shield. In that situation, you can use the one that you already have. Otherwise, buy the new one in the stores. If the IO shield is not compatible with the motherboard, you may find trouble while using the ports of the motherboard. You can add or remove the space on the shield based on the requirement.

FAQs of IO Shield

Do You Install IO Shield First?

Yes, first you need to place the IO shield in the CPU case. After that, the motherboard needs to be installed by adjusting the ports and the screw location. Fix the motherboard with screws after the placement of the IO shield and motherboard in the case.

Does IO Shield go Inside or Outside?

The IO shield should go inside the CPU case to get a grip on both the CPU case and the motherboard. You find no screws to place the IO shield outside the CPU case.

Are all IO Shields the Same Size?

In general, the universal IO shields have the same dimensions meaning all the IO shields are the same in size. But, depending on the motherboard and its architecture, the port locations vary from one shield to another.


The IO shield is a compulsory part, and it is an optional part too, sometimes. But this all depends on you (the user), and your work environment.

There is nothing to lose if you place an IO shield in the CPU case. But you have an advantage with the IO shield to enhance protection for your PC components from dust and other unwanted actions.

In my CPU case, I have an IO shield protection. Does your CPU have this? Make a comment and share your thoughts.